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The benefits of volunteering, Ehrenamtliches Engagement, for expats can be profound. Whether on a one-to-one basis, helping at a food bank, in a charity shop or offering pro bono services.

Fortunately, many international residents possess a natural propensity to settle into their location and offer generous support. Part of interaction with the German community is volunteering time or donating funds to local non-profit organisations. Some decide to organise their own initiatives.

An aspect of troubled times is reflected in homelessness and people living below the poverty threshold. Initiatives that serve food are possibly of interest to expats how wish to become a volunteer, Freiwillige, who are able to speak basic German. Church based charitable causes include Diakonie and Caritas. They are active in many fields. The latter even up-cycles furniture and runs thrift stores with terrific bargains for one and all. The German Red Cross is also grateful for assistance, even offering longer placements.

Clean ups have been gathering popularity, especially along the banks of the rivers in the region. Encouraging initiatives have developed to assist in the removal of rubbish left behind by floods and inconsiderate individuals.  Large numbers of volunteers are inspired to collect trash from across many locations too.

Contact details are exemplary. Search volunteering, Ehrenamtliches Engagement, or volunteer, Freiwillige, plus your location.

By Vincent Green, Jul 9 2021

Ehrenamt Agentur Essen e.V.

Dorotheenstrasse 3
45130 Essen

+49 201 839 1490

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We stand in a foreign culture finding ourselves pointing, gesticulating and hoping to be understood. Germans mostly speak at least some English. However, some expats relocating to the Ruhr Metropolis may wish to carry a few basic but helpful words with them for use in awkward moments.

Lederhosen German shorts


Anyone who has experienced the hospitality offered by this society knows that the country and its folk have changed enormously over recent years. The Ruhr is, as a whole, peaceful and its citizens are mostly generous and contented.

Socialising in the Ruhr

Staying in touch and getting together with others living in a similar situation can be important. Expat groups in social media are highly valuable sources for connecting. Socialising in the Ruhr Metropolis can include events, international clubs or heading for a popular spot to meet international residents.